Local authority funding for care

Depending on the support you need and your finances, you may be able to receive help towards the cost of your care.

This may pay for all of your care or some of your care.

A means tested financial assessment will decide how much help you can get towards the cost of care.

If we pay towards your care you can still pay for extra care yourself if you want.

If we help pay for your care this can be done in many ways:

  • we can arrange the care for you and pay for it
  • we can pay you money and you can arrange your own care (direct payments)
  • you can arrange your care and we can pay them (individual service funds)

Or you can purchase care yourself privately without an assessment.

If you think you need care and would like a financial assessment please call 01708 432000.

If we are already helping you with the cost of care and you would like to change how it is paid, or if you think you may need more help please call 01708 432000.

Finance charging booklets

Financial assessment

If you are getting a chargeable service then you will be asked to take a financial assessment to establish your liability towards your care fees.

Go to the financial assessment information page and form

Care arranged and paid for by us

After the assessment is carried out we will arrange the care and pay for it directly to the care provider. We work directly with them and explain to them the care you need.

Direct payments

A direct payment is an amount paid to a customer or their authorised or nominated person to be spent on the care and support needs outlined in their agreed Care and Support Plan.

Their purpose is to increase choice and independence for users by giving more control over their support arrangements.

This payment is calculated on how much money the care you will need will cost and will be given to you in the form of a pre-paid card that is loaded with your money every 4 weeks.

You can nominate someone to manage these payments on your behalf or use a payroll company.

Who is eligible for a direct payment?

  • Those aged 16 and above who are assessed as needing services. 
  • A person with parental responsibility for a disabled child.
  • Carers aged 16 and over who are caring for a disabled adult.

Individuals must be willing and able to manage their Direct Payments, alone or with assistance eg if the person needing a payment is a child.

What can a direct payment be spent on?

How you spend your direct payment money is determined by your assessment.

You may be able to use it to:

  • pay for support to help you at home
  • employ a personal assistant to help you with getting washed and dressed
  • buy your care from a care agency
  • pay for a short term break, but not an overseas holiday
  • pay for small equipment to help you

Direct payments do not count as income and do not affect benefits like housing benefit or Universal Credit.

What can I not spend a direct payment on?

You cannot use your direct payment money to buy anything other than products or services that are agreed within your support plan. 

Examples of misuse of a direct payment include:

  • anything that is illegal
  • alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gambling
  • long-term or permanent residential care
  • to pay a relative that you live with you as your personal assistant, except in exceptional circumstances which has been agreed in advance by a social work team
  • withdrawing cash from an ATM unless where requested and authorised in advance by a social work manager

How you get a direct payment

Your direct payment will be paid four weekly into a pre-paid account to ensure you have the money to pay for your care when you need it.

You can manage the account yourself or you can have a payroll agency or someone you trust to do this.

This account will come with a card which can be used to pay for any items that were agreed during the care assessment.

The card works just like any other debit card, giving you the flexibility to make payments in person, over the phone or online.

The Council will be able to see the expenditure online, making it easier to monitor spend.

Personal Assistants and Direct Payments

Many people use their direct payment to employ their own care worker such as a Personal Assistant (PA). We have a list of accredited PA’s and can support in identifying a suitable candidate.

However, if you prefer to recruit your own PA, we can provide advice and assistance with recruitment, including drafting and placement of advertisements and the arrangement of interviews.

It is important to remember that if you decide to hire a PA yourself, you will take sole responsibility for them as their employer and will need to carry out DBS checks and ensure they have the right to work.

You may also have extra responsibilities as an employer such as paying National Insurance.

Support is available to help you manage even if you employ a personal assistant yourself.

Applying for a direct payment

If you are eligible for a direct payment and have undertaken a care assessment and financial assessment which states that we will contribute to some or all or your care you can contact us by talking with your social worker or calling our adult social care team on 01708 432000.

If you are already receiving long term assistance with your care from us but are interested in switching to a direct payment and you need information and advice, please email directpayments@havering.gov.uk

Information booklet

You can also download and read our Managing your care through Direct Payments guide.

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